Sport Gaelic Football

Sunday 17 December 2017

Attendance expected to drop by 10,000 for Dubs' latest tilt with Lilies

Seamus Howlin, Chairman of the Leinster Council.
Seamus Howlin, Chairman of the Leinster Council.
Colm Keys

Colm Keys

Croke Park will host the biggest crowd of the summer on Sunday, but it could be some 10,000 down on the last championship meeting between Dublin and Kildare.

The Leinster Council is not anticipating that the 50,000-barrier will be broken for the two football semi-finals between Dublin and Kildare and Meath and Wexford.

However, the provincial body is satisfied that their attendances overall have increased by between 10 and 20pc, according to chief executive Michael Delaney (above).

"We've had a very good hurling championship so far and that has brought up the crowds in addition to the range of different ticket packages that are on offer," the Leinster official said.

Delaney believes the involvement of so many teams from the province in the qualifiers and hurling championship over the weekend will reduce the number of neutrals attending Croke Park.

"There are seven Leinster counties involved in various games, so it will take from it," he predicted.

When Dublin and Kildare met in the corresponding game on the same weekend two years ago, there was a crowd of 58,723. On that occasion, Wexford and Carlow were the curtain-raiser in the other semi-final. The same four teams were involved in last year's semi-finals when Dublin played Wexford and 47,961 turned up. Leinster officials are expecting something similar this weekend.

Leinster chairman Martin Skelly believes Dublin's 'Spring Series' over the last three league campaigns has diluted the attraction of the 'Croke Park experience' for some and that has impacted on crowds attending provincial fixtures involving the Dublin footballers.

Leinster's top brass have announced a reduction in prices for the Dublin/Kilkenny replay in Portlaoise, where stand tickets are €20, terrace tickets €10 and juveniles are free. A group of between 15 and 50 adults can access the terrace for €5 each.

Irish Independent

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